‘Tis the season, they say. O joy. I’m a regular Scrooge around Christmastime. Maybe it’s because I’m not spending it with my Moms-n-‘em again; I miss my family terribly. But I suspect that’s not the real reason I’m Grinchin' this time of year – it’s that damn Christmas music.
Allow me to elaborate.
When I was back home, I loved Christmas as much as the next guy. That meant my siblings would be home for a few days at least, that there’s be tons of good food, and that I’d [finally] get a break from farmwork for a little while. My sister, the family chef, would go all out and I’d happily devour everything she cooked. Even my dogs and cats would be full that time of year, especially the dogs, which always seemed hungry.
Fast-forward some years later, and my first job stateside was at a popular retail store, one of the biggest here. I started working there around September, and quickly started to dislike it. For one, they put me up at the cash register. I don’t do people coz people suck, so I went and asked management to give me something different to do. As a form of punishment, I suppose, they placed me in the – hold your breath – infants section. I’d restock the shelves, straighten everything out and help flustered mothers carry strollers or formula or whatever they’d just bought.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the greatest department to be in. Parents were always in a hurry, and ill-tempered for it. Badass kids yelling at their parents got to me. [Who yells at their parents where I’m from? I’d have been “D.E.D. dead,” and you know this] I’d have loved to be in some cool department like Electronics or even the Tools Section, but there I was restocking pacifiers and diapers. I was soon an expert about everything infant, even making suggestions about what customers should get. I was captain and ran a tight ship, and nothing was rarely out of place. [I said that like I enjoyed doing it, right? Wrong – I detested every second of it. But hey, gotta work.]
To make matters worse, when there wasn’t much to do, especially around closing time, I was expected to go help other people out that still had stuff to do. Of course, some of the other cats weren’t expected to do this and perpetually horsed around, even tossing [American] footballs back and forth, but that didn’t bother me. Sometimes this other African cat and I would be sent out in the freezing cold to gather the shopping carts and bring them inside, and as we stacked them by the entrance I’d see a football flying back and forth across the store. But that was OK too - I liked to work. Made the time go by fast, freezing digits notwithstanding.
But then Christmas season came, and it was a wrap. Everything changed, and not for the better. There were always so many people in there it was unbelievable. They’d come in and wreak havoc on the shelves, topple stacks of whatever and rummage through the toys, making cleanup a nightmare. I worked every weekend in November and December and had no choice in the matter. Plus, I had tons of homework, seeing how it was semester’s end. All of it was wearing me thin.
What convinced me to quit was neither of the above issues. Those I would handle, but I just couldn’t take that damn Christmas music playing throughout the store all day long in a tight loop! No lie, they played the same songs 10-plus times while I was there. Jesucentric Christmas music is OK by me because, after all, Christmas is all about Jesus, but they were playing songs about some fictitious obese, red-clad geriatric who supposedly gave presents to everybody who had been nice. There were even songs about his elves and reindeer!
[I know my uncle had a song about his favorite cow, which I thought was hilarious, but this? At least he could get milk from that damn cow, but Rudolph the reindeer never deserved a song. He’s not even real!]
To top it all off, it was my first winter ever and I detested every moment I had to go out in the cold, but one of the songs was about some dude wishing for, and I quote, a white Christmas! WTF? Rub it in, dude, why doncha?
They say incessant repetition may cause insanity and that Christmas music, while working there, got me hammering at insanity’s door, for real. The day after Christmas, I emptied my locker, clocked out, said bye to the African dude and never looked back. I didn’t have another job lined up yet, but I’ve no regrets about that decision.
5 days later, while chillin’ at the crib, the supervisor called me and was like:
“D, you haven’t shown up for work some days now,” he paused, awaiting my response that never came. “We’ll have to terminate your employment.”
“I didn’t show up because I quit 5 days ago,” I responded, and hung up.
Ah, I can still taste how good that felt!
But anyhow, Merry Christmas to you and yours. Have fun, and that’s an order!